This year marks the 125th anniversary of Western culture celebration Cheyenne Frontier Days (CFD) and the 50th anniversary of Wyoming native Chris LeDoux‘s first self-released album, Songs of Rodeo Life. CFD commemorated both last Friday (July 23) with the unveiling of a LeDoux statue in Frontier Park and a fitting double bill of country artists: Chris’ son Ned LeDoux and the family’s most visible and vocal ally, Garth Brooks.
Brooks, whose early hit “Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)” namedropped LeDoux, attended the statue’s unveiling.
“We will always remember Garth’s presence as we unveiled the new bronze statue of Chris LeDoux, and his incredible return performance on the stage on Friday night,” said Cheyenne Frontier Days CEO Tom Hirsig in a press release.
Beyond earning a reputation as a touring and recording artist, LeDoux was an elite rodeo cowboy. He won top bareback riding honors at the 1976 National Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City.
LeDoux died of cancer on March 9, 2005, at age 56.
Buffalo, Wyo. sculptor D. Michael Thomas designed the statue of LeDoux on a bucking horse and titled it “Just LeDoux It.” It’s reminiscent of the action shot of LeDoux on the cover of his 1977 album Sing Me a Song Mr. Rodeo Man. Thomas crafted a similar bronze statue, named after Brooks song “Good Ride Cowboy,” for the Chris LeDoux Memorial Park in LeDoux’s hometown of Kaycee, Wyo. The latter’s been on display since 2010.
In other LeDoux news, a vinyl compilation of some of his best-loved songs, Wyoming Cowboy- A Collection, arrived on July 2 and includes LeDoux and Brooks’ 1992 collaboration “Whatcha Gonna Do With a Cowboy.”